I enjoy traveling and have had the privilege of visiting the world’s most developed country as well as parts of two of the world’s most pristine natural areas: the Galapagos Islands and the Equador Amazon jungle. The contrast was breathtaking.

The Galapagos archipelago is Ecuador and is made up of 127 islands, islets, and rocks, 19 of which are big and four of which are inhabited. In 1959, 97% of the total emergent surface (7,665,100 acres) was designated as a National Park.

The Galapagos Islands are undoubtedly the world’s most famous wildlife-watching location. And it’s easy to see why: the area that inspired Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of natural selection is nearly impossible to overstate.

Newborn American flamingo chick (Phoenicopterus ruber) tucked in the feathers of her mother. These birds, sometimes known as the Caribbean or Greater flamingo, can be found across the Galapagos Islands.

A day of Laziness…. The marine iguana is the only lizard in the world that can live and forage at sea, and it is only found in the Galapagos Islands. On land, marine iguanas are not very agile, but they are great swimmers, swimming easily through the water while they graze on algae.

The galapagos diminishing iguana mystery: When food is sparse, marine iguanas can decrease their skeleton and lower their size by up to 20%. Smaller animals use less energy, and their chances of survival improve. Their skeletons can rebuild when food (mostly seaweed) becomes abundant again.

The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) can be found throughout the galapagos in large colonies visible in Floreana Island Isabela, Santiago, Rabida and Santa Cruz.

The mating dance of the Galapagos Albatross! These birds, also known as waved albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), are an endemic species found only in the Galapagos, particularly on Espaola Island.

This piglet squid may appear large, but even after it fills itself with water to float, it is around the size of an avocado! They can be found throughout the Pacific Ocean, including the Galapagos Islands. Its skin patterns resemble a little smiling face, and its tentacle tuft resembles curling strands of hair on its head. Because they live at such deep, dark depths, each of its huge eyes has a massive light-producing organ (photophore) beneath it to help light the way.

When threatened, the Guineafowl Puffer (Arothron meleagris) may swallow water and inflate itself to 7 times its normal size. They have huge blunt skulls with short snouts and a massive pair of fangs.

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